A Brief Description of Ken Lamberton's Career
In 1980, Ken Lamberton graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor's
degree in biology and for the next five years taught science at a public school. In
1987, he went to prison, where Lamberton joined the creative writing workshop of
poet and author Richard Shelton and soon began publishing articles and essays
about two subjects he knew well: prison and the natural history of the Southwest. It
was only a matter of time before he came to connect the two subjects on the page.
During his incarceration Lamberton's articles and essays began appearing in
national magazines and literary journals like Orion, Arizona Highways, Bird Watcher’s
Digest, Manoa, Northern Lights, Alligator Juniper, Puerto Del Sol, and the Gettysburg
Review. Several of these essays, in turn, were selected for anthologies such as
American Nature Writing, Getting Over the Color Green, and David Quammen's
anthology The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2000. Editors have
nominated two of Lamberton's essays for Pushcart Prizes, and Robert Atwan of The
Best American Essays series listed his work in "Notable Essays of 1998" and again
in "Notable Essays of 1999."
Then, in January 2000, Mercury House published Lamberton's first book, Wilderness
and Razor Wire: A Naturalist’s Observations from Prison, to critical acclaim. The San
Francisco Chronicle called it, "…entirely original: an edgy, ferocious, subtly complex
collection of essays…". The book won the 2002 John Burroughs Medal for
outstanding nature writing.
After his release from prison, Ken Lamberton completed his MFA in creative writing at
the University of Arizona, and continued writing and publishing essays and books
about the Southwest. The University of Arizona Press published Chiricahua
Mountains: Bridging the Borders of Wildness in October 2003, then published his third
book, Beyond Desert Walls: Essays from Prison, in March 2005. Lamberton's fourth
book, Time of Grace: Thoughts on Nature, Family, and the Politics of Crime and
Punishment (University of Arizona Press, October 2007), won a Soros Justice
Fellowship in 2007 and was nominated for a National Book Award. Currently, he is
promoting his latest book called Dry River: Stories of Life, Death, and Redemption on
the Santa Cruz.
Lamberton travels and lectures widely, from church forums to university campuses,
reading from his books and discussing his work. Topics include creative writing,
nature, family, and the politics of crime and punishment. His profile has appeared in
Writer's Market 1999, The Arizona Republic (March 11, 2001), the Arizona Daily Star
(July 12, 2001 and March 31, 2002), The Dallas Morning News, (June 6, 2002), and
Sierra Magazine (November-December 2002). Additionally, he has appeared on
many radio and television programs including Arizona Illustrated and National Public
Radio ("To the Best of Our Knowledge" with Steve Paulson (April 2000) and "Living on
Earth" with Steve Curwood (March 2005).
* * *
My new book, Chasing Arizona
is on the way! Look for it in
February from the University of
My essay "Chubasco" is
appearing in Terrain.org
"The Wisdom of Chasing
Serpents" from my forthcoming
book, Chasing Arizona, now
published in the journal ISLE.
See my feature "Iconic Arizona"
in the January issue of Desert
Check out my piece in Orion
and Blue Lyra Review
excerpted from Chasing
See my essay from Chasing
Arizona in the Wolf anthology
See my reading at the
inaugural 2009 Tucson Festival
of Books, sponsored by the U
of A Poetry Center.
The newest printing of
Wilderness and Razor Wire is
now available here.
And here's the eBook version
live at Kindle!
Dry River included in the
"winner's circle" of Southwest
Books of the Year, 2011! "This
is an elegant and important
book from one of southern
Arizona's most gifted writers."
See the announcement.
"[A] literary act of river
restoration." Read the review of
Dry River in High Country News
Read essay "Yard Birds" in the
new anthology, The Way Of
Natural History, edited by
Thomas Fleischner and
published by Trinity University
"Lamberton is a consummate
explorer, and this book will give
readers a sense of hiking the
Santa Cruz alongside an
experienced guide and
loquacious raconteur." Read
the review of Dry River in the
Dry River: Stories of Life, Death,
and Redemption on the Santa
Cruz has been released!
See the essay "River Gods" in
the new anthology Hope
Beneath Our Feet (ed. Martin
Read the newest review of
Time of Grace in
Time of Grace has won a 2008
Eric Hoffer Notable Book Award
and is a 2008 Arizona Book
Award finalist for the best
Read the review of Time of
Grace in the Tucson Weekly:
Read Scott Esposito's review of
Richard Shelton's and Ken
Lamberton's books, Crossing
the Yard and Time of Grace in
The Quarterly Conversation,
"What are Prison's For?"
See Richard Shelton and Ken
Lamberton on Arizona
The Open Society Institute in
New York awarded Ken
Lamberton the 2007 Soros
Justice Fellowship. See the
|Copyright © 2007 Ken Lamberton. All rights reserved. Site Design by J. A. Lamberton.
About the Author